Fibromyalgia (aka Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS) can be a fairly nasty disease. It affects mainly women. Millions of Americans suffer from FMS, yet conventional medicine really has very little to offer these sufferers. The prescription drug Elavil does seem to offer very good short-term symptom relief for many patients, but one of it’s side effects is causing a rapid weight gain of 50 pounds or more (no that’s not a typo) over a 3 to 6 month period! Other than that, mainstream medicine’s major approach is just a combination of throwing other drugs at the FMS symptoms that don’t usually offer any long-term symptom relief along with trying to teach sufferers how to ‘cope’ with their FMS.
Fortunately for my patients, in the winter & spring of 2010, I attended a series of ‘Advanced Clinical Nutrition’ seminars by a doctor who has had phenomenal success treating FMS patients like YOU for over a decade now. I now use Dr. Rodger Murphree’s patient protocols for “Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia” as he says. I also carry his book on the subject as well as the line of nutritional supplements that he developed for his own patients.
As luck would have it, less than two weeks after I completed Dr. Murphree's seminars, I was blessed enough to start working with a lady who just relocated to the Virden, IL area. She came to my office for treatment of spinal misalignments (pinched nerves) in her neck and upper back. Much to my delight, her history revealed that she was a FORMER FMS SUFFERER ….. that is, until she started using Dr. Murphree’s protocols herself 4 years ago. Amazingly, she has had very little in the way of Fibromyalgia symptoms for nearly 4 years!
WHAT CAUSES FIBROMYALGIA - Here's how the condition known as FMS spirals out of control for most patients that are unlucky enough to get it.
1) Chronic stress disrupts the HPA axis*, thus leading to both a lowered pain threshold and chronic pain.
(HPA Axis – refers to the role of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenals glands in making important hormones that the human body requires to function properly. An imbalance with this affects intercellular communication, resulting in the disruption of the body’s ability to maintain a normal state of equilibrium.)
2) Chronic pain then interferes with the normal sleep / wake cycle resulting in poor sleep.
3) Poor sleep results in decreased growth hormone production leading to an inability to repair damaged muscle fibers, poor memory, decreased immune system function, fatigue and even more pain.
4) More pain disrupts the sleep / wake cycle even more …. leading to a depletion of important stress-coping neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
5) This reduction of serotonin causes higher than normal levels of substance P, which enhances pain receptors, creating even more pain.
6) Continued poor sleep and ongoing stress then causes even more fatigue, mood disorders such as anxiety or depression, irritable bowel syndrome, adrenal burnout, decreased DHEA levels, lowered resistance to stress and sometimes even abnormal thyroid function.
7) Decreased ability to cope with stress leads to even lower immune system function.
8) Decreased blood volume due to adrenal burnout leads to even more fatigue.
A future blog post will reveal my protocol for helping my patients that suffer from FMS.
I hope this info on FMS was helpful. Any feedback would be appreciated.
Me (on the left) and My Clinical Nutrition mentor, Dr. Rodger Murphree. I'm recieving my "Advanced Clinical Nutrition" certification for completing Dr. Murphree's course.